Any fan of Foo Fighters will get a kick out of Studio 666. It’s a horror comedy with a few good beats to show the band in their off stage hilarity. Most of it is fictional and the timing of its broader release to streaming cannot be any more surreal following the recent news of Taylor Hawkins death. The film is not meant to mirror real life.
Here, the story focuses on how the dead can come back, to finish an Evil Dead type ritual so that Skye Willow (Jenna Ortega) can gain power. She never finished his summoning spell because her bandmates put a stop to it during this film’s introduction. But, on the verge of dying herself, Skye must find a person to possess.
Fast forward to the present, Dave Grohl has debts and is in a rut. He has to develop a new album and earn enough income to pay those off, and perhaps afterwards, consider where he future lays in regards to being a musician. His manager, Jeremy Shill (Jeff Garlin) offers him a place (where Skye once lived) to stay and work on it. Once the band settles in, not everyone is aware of the danger that’s hiding in the basement.
Acting-wise, the band does a reasonable job at playing their fictional selves. It’s not as stale as early attempts to turn musicians into actors, and I’m sure none of that tension between mates is real. We get to see them at their most eccentric!
This film’s concept is nothing new. If it’s about a deal with the devil, we don’t know all the details. This film is not like the 1986 Crossroads movie where it delves into why Blues music is deep. The motifs aren’t explored in Studio 666 and nor does it become a Scooby Doo mystery (I wished it had). To add a mythic context rather than featuring another obligatory devil would’ve helped make this work equal. Sometimes, the tunes help the listener get past hard times, because the lyrics show they’re not alone in their grief.
What’s presented is a movie that doesn’t know how to nicely end. Instead, it’s a slasher film. Studio 666 is about how Grohl can’t find the riff that’ll lead to closing off that song. They discover a book, a recording, and a curse! By the time Grohl figures it out and thinks being cursed is a blessing in disguise, this musician is a solo act.
As for explaining why the devil made Grohl do it, perhaps another film is required to show him possessed and fighting Skye’s spirit from within. This movie was written by him, Jeff Buhler and Rebecca Hughes feels incomplete. What’s made is just the B-Side, and Side A still needs to be produced.
3½ Stars out of 5